The COVID-19 pandemic completely upended traditional work methods, instigating a sharp increase in remote and hybrid work. In response, Microsoft Teams emerged as the go-to platform for collaborating virtually in the workplace, with over 320 million active monthly users as of October 2023.
Thanks to the tool's deep integration within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, organizations love using a unified interconnected space to make communication more efficient and cohesive. However, they’ve also felt frustrated with what sometimes felt like a one-size-fits-all technology that didn’t always reflect diverse working styles, preferences, or business goals.
At the start of 2023, Microsoft launched Microsoft Teams Premium to give organizations more options for personalizing and securing their environment. Below, we'll break down the features included in a Premium subscription and explore ways that they can enhance productivity at work.
Advanced Meeting Capabilities
Even when conducted virtually, attending meetings can be exhausting. Along with the excessive screen time, they require considerable cognitive work, as participants must multitask, listen, take notes, and organize the next steps. With Microsoft Teams Premium, users can now enhance and streamline their virtual collaboration experience, so it takes less effort to communicate clearly and effectively.
Intelligent Recap integrates OpenAI technology to create AI-driven meeting insights, making virtual connections more efficient. With this feature, users can reflect more purposefully on a meeting’s content after it ends. This tool can be helpful for anyone, whether you want a refresher, showed up late, had to leave early, or had to miss the meeting entirely.
After a meeting, the platform will auto-generate chapters, creating segments based on content topics. It will also make “personalized timeline markers” to highlight critical moments. There is no need to watch the entire recording; you can quickly sift through to find a relevant topic or moment, like when someone mentioned your name. With “speaker timeline markers,” you can quickly jump around the recording if you want to re-listen to a specific comment from a particular person.
AI-Generated Notes And Tasks
With Premium, you can leverage Teams to shoulder the mundane administrative tasks around meetings. The tool will highlight critical conversation points, noting suggestions for follow-up assignments so your employees can seamlessly transition from having a conversation to taking action. They won’t have to spend as much time manually analyzing the meeting notes to determine the key takeaways. Instead, they can focus on the more complex work of solving problems and making tangible business decisions.
Speaking of artificial intelligence, do you want to discover other ways to elevate your workplace productivity? Check out our free resource on unlocking the potential of AI. It includes three exclusive training videos to help boost your skills.
Live Translation for Captions
Many organizations operate with diverse, internationally located teams or run large-scale meetings and webinars with customers worldwide. This translation feature can help many users engage with a meeting's content with fewer communication barriers and misunderstandings. You can harness artificial intelligence to translate the meeting conversation into more than 40 different languages in real time. The transcript will also automatically label and identify speakers. As a result, participants won't have to stress out over taking notes to translate later; instead, they can use that energy to collaborate in the moment.
Remember, you can access the most sophisticated digital technology - but if you don’t have a strategy for accomplishing it meaningfully, your tools won't yield the desired outcomes. Read these three ways to improve hybrid meetings to discover how to leverage Microsoft Teams Premium with purpose.
Tailored and Scalable Meeting Experiences
Organizations have previously felt dissatisfied with virtual meeting spaces' limited functionality. They found it challenging to create a standardized, cohesive digital professional appearance aligned with their offline presence.
Customized Meeting Templates
With Microsoft Teams Premium, users can access customizable meeting templates that allow them to tailor their virtual events to be more consistent with their needs. In your template, you can control settings for various functions related to the chat, the lobby, reactions, or mic and camera use. As a result, administrators can predefine their default settings so that it’s frictionless for employees to comply with internal communication policies or industry regulations automatically.
The “Branded Meetings” feature also lets organizations present a consistent brand image at every touchpoint with meeting attendees, whether before they join, while in the lobby, or during the meeting, through elements such as your logo, color palette, and even custom backgrounds.
Teams Premium gives organizations many options for controlling large-scale meetings so that their participants have a smoother and more professional experience.
Before the meeting, organizations can now use Teams to create an event sign-up page with customized branding and presenter bios. They can also more easily manage registration, with the ability to customize when registration will start and end, create a waitlist for potential audience members after you’ve reached your event capacity, and manually organize registrants if needed. During the meeting, they can now offer presenters and hosts a Virtual Green Room to chat before the official start time. Coming soon, hosts will have the ability to email attendees before and on the event day.
Enhanced Security and Compliance Features
Building a productive digital work environment also requires creating a secure infrastructure. If you don't sufficiently protect your data, the resulting downtime can upend your operations. That's why the enhanced security features in Microsoft Teams Premium are so important; they give organizations a safe communication platform designed to mitigate risk and keep productivity high.
Teams Premium's "Watermark" feature allows you to share confidential and sensitive information during digital meetings confidently. When turned on, it overlays a participant's email over the video feed and screen share, deterring data leaks and making unauthorized disclosures more traceable. But don't worry - it hides the watermark while attendees are engaging in their discussion so that it won't impact the user experience.
Your organization can also leverage the "sensitive labels' feature to streamline how you manage meeting security. By previously establishing your parameters for what constitutes "sensitive" content, you can quickly apply locked settings to meetings and configure blocks on specific actions, such as who can record, whether someone can copy chat contents, or whether someone can present at the session. You can now dive deeper on the admin side to determine which roles can control the recording process for each meeting.
You can add even stronger layers of protection for the most sensitive discussions by applying end-to-end encryption during a meeting. Although this may deactivate some of your meeting features, it will allow you to prevent anyone besides the meeting participants from consuming the content discussed - including the people at Microsoft!
Advanced Virtual Appointment Functionality
Whether you're an association with a membership base, a nonprofit with clients and donors, or a business with customers, the new Advanced Virtual Appointments features available with Teams Premium may enrich how your team connects with individual stakeholders virtually. These capabilities empower better B2C (business-to-customer) engagement in many situations, from financial consultations and focus groups to therapy sessions and job interviews.
The Teams Premium "Virtual Appointments" app gives you a centralized location for managing appointment logistics, making it more straightforward to fit appointments into your employee's schedules alongside their other tasks. You can also leverage the "SMS notifications" to send text reminders to attendees and the "branded virtual lobby" to offer a professional atmosphere at every touch point with the individual. With the option to look at "Virtual Appointment Analytics," the organization can use concrete data like usage trends, wait times, and no-shows to make informed decisions about your appointment strategy.
Navigate Digital Collaboration with Our IT Solutions
Microsoft Teams Premium is a valuable solution for organizations looking to strengthen their approach to communicating and collaborating digitally. From its advanced meeting capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence to its security-focused features like sensitivity labels and end-to-end encryption, you can access diverse features to create a seamless and professional atmosphere for your team, clients, and partners.
If you want to explore Microsoft Teams Premium and other digital productivity tools for your team, our designDATA experts are here to help you implement them effectively. We'll always be here to provide ongoing education and training when you need it.
When you partner with us for our cloud managed services and other robust IT solutions, we will build comprehensive tech strategies that meet your needs. Our team will handle sourcing, deploying, and maintaining your technology so you can focus on using it to accomplish your goals.